British Library PhD Placements: Call for Applications

worm's eye view of the British Library building at St Pancras

Placements at the British Library provide opportunities for PhD students from all disciplines to develop and apply transferrable research skills outside of the university sector.

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We undertake an internal call each year to identify suitable opportunities for PhD students to carry out placement projects at the Library. These projects are specially selected to develop career skills and support the professional development of researchers for future career paths both within and outside academia. Equally, the placements provide practical support for teams based across the Library to carry out key projects and activities.

We encourage all PhD students to consider a placement with us. It is not necessary for the project to relate directly to your PhD or specific research interests. Rather, we see these placements as opportunities for professional development. They offer PhD students a means to develop and apply transferable research, communications and analytical skills (etc.) outside the university sector.

PhD placement students contribute to the work of the Library in a variety of ways, including: public engagement initiatives, events and exhibitions, policy research, and activities to enhance the accessibility of BL collections and content.

Current opportunities

Placement opportunities offered under the current call are listed below. These profiles provide an overview of the context for each project, outlining the expected tasks and outcomes, the training and experience expected to be gained by the student, and any background knowledge or skills that are required.

How to apply

Click on the above links to view the profiles of any projects that are of interest. You should then refer also to the detailed application guidelines below and email the completed application form and a CV to

Please note that all applications must be approved by the applicant’s PhD supervisor and Graduate Tutor (or equivalent senior academic manager).

The application deadline is 4 pm on 20 February 2017.


  • Open to all PhD students, as long as they have the support of their PhD supervisor and their Graduate Tutor (or equivalent)
  • International students are eligible if they have the right to study in the UK
  • Most placements can also be done on a part-time basis, with some remote working also sometimes possible – see project profiles for details
  • The minimum duration for each placement is 3 months (or part-time equivalent)  


The Library’s placement scheme has been developed in consultation with HEI partners and stakeholders. Students applying for a placement at the Library are expected to consult their HEI or Doctoral Training Partnership/Doctoral Training Centre to ascertain what funding is available to support them.

Please note that the Library itself is not able to provide payment to placement students, nor can it provide costs for daily commuting or relocation to the site of the placement. The Library strongly recommends to HEIs that a PhD student given approval to undertake a placement is in receipt of a stipend for the duration of the placement.

Any questions?

Contact for all queries or to be added to our placement scheme mailing list.


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